Versa HD: The Technical Breakdown of Elekta’s New Radiotherapy Linear Accelerator

Last Friday duringElekta New Versa HD System their live global event, Elekta announced the launch of their advanced linear accelerator system Versa HD. Featuring high precision beam shaping and tumor targeting, Versa HD is designed with new capabilities to provide a faster and more accurate treatment for a wider range of cancers. Versa HD offers both conventional and stereotactic treatments in a single solution. This gives physicians the flexibility to deliver conventional and high dose rate complex therapies without increasing treatment times, which supports overall improved patient outcomes.

In radiation therapy it’s critical to have the ability to deliver a radiation beam that conforms to the precise contours of a tumor. In the past, slower leaf speeds have limited the prior generation of linear accelerator’s capabilities in providing high dose rate delivery. Addressing this issue on the Versa HD, Elekta has integrated the market leading Agility 160-leaf multileaf collimator (MLC), which delivers accurate, highly conformal beam shaping. In addition, each leaf is just 5mm wide and capable of moving more than two times faster than other multileaf collimators. These tighter margins provide the ability to deliver high dose rate treatments and protect healthy tissue on all sides of the treatment area. The Agility provides exceptional target conformance across the entire 40cm x 40cm treatment field, even for intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).

The Versa HD high dose rate mode delivers maximum dose rates that are more than three times higher than previous generation Elekta linear accelerators. Combining the high dose rate with high leaf speed enables the delivery of complex treatments in a standard treatment slot efficiently and effectively. With increased MLC speed, for the first time clinicians can take full advantage of high dose rate delivery on an Elekta system. With improved dose sculpting and modulation capabilities, physicians can implement multiple therapies including stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) and volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT).

Versa HD also offers safety features such as the market’s largest isocenter clearance. This, combined with touch activated patient protection can reduce the possible risk of collision. Elekta boasts the lowest radiation transmission of any commercially available MLC to minimize non-therapeutic radiation dose. The market’s largest cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) field of view at 50cm x 26cm offers the capability to inspect expanded regions of interest. Also featured is a 7th generation digital control system to keep track of and coordinate multiple functions at the same time during treatment.

New ergonomics with softer contours, ambient lighting, lower mechanical noise, user friendly controls and shorter treatment times can provide for an overall more relaxed treatment experience for the patient. The Versa HD can leave a smaller environmental footprint and minimize operating costs. It does so by continuously operating at lower temperatures which can reduce cooling cost and overall power consumption. It uses up to 30% less energy than other linear accelerator systems.

“The well-being of increasing numbers of cancer patients worldwide inspired us to create Versa HD,” says Elekta’s President and CEO, Tomas Puusepp. “We strived to incorporate technologies that would provide an immediate impact to patient health and quality of life. As the pioneers of many of today’s most advanced therapies, we are proud to introduce Versa HD as yet another market-leading innovation. Versa HD truly reflects the best thinking of Elekta’s technical experts and our clinical partners.”

With greater target conformance, fast MLC speeds and full field flexibility, VersaHD now gives clinicians the versatility to deliver HD treatments to a wider range of cases and brings a new level of competition to the linear accelerator market. It’s important to note that the Versa HD system has not received FDA clearance in the United States yet, which means complete technical specifications have not been made available. This makes a direct comparison to other systems currently on the market today difficult but MD Buyline will keep an eye out for any new information on the Versa HD that might impact our members.

Julie Johnson
Julie Johnson, Analyst — Prior to joining MD Buyline in 2008, Ms. Julie Johnson worked in account management, accounting and financial planning. At MD Buyline, she serves as an analyst, providing support to the clinical analysts and helping MD Buyline members make informed purchasing decisions. Ms. Johnson supports the teams for linear accelerators, stereotactic radiosurgery, mammography systems, biopsy systems, radiographic systems, portable radiographic systems, fluoroscopy and computed radiography capital equipment codes.